I'm so lucky to have Kate Kaynak be super awesome and co-host The Jacket Copy Contest with me. Not only is this a great learning experience for everyone who enters, but an epic opportunity, too. Kate is an editor for Spencer Hill Press, which has published awesome books. Go check them out here. Who better than an editor to give a partial critique (BTW, that is the prize).
Not only is Kate an editor for my publisher, Spencer Hill Press, but she's the author of The Ganzfield Books: Minder, Adversary, Legacy,
Accused, Operative, and Soulmate, which won Best YA Series. If you haven't yet, it's probably a series you want to check out. I'll even be nice and give you her Goodreads link. And if you're a stalker like me, you can find Kate hanging out at her blog, on twitter, and facebook.
Remember, a jacket copy is not a query, but a description of a novel as a whole. If you haven't yet, take the time to visit your local bookstore, pull random books off the shelf, and read the jacket copy. Ask yourself: "Is this a book I'd read?" or "Is this a book I'd never, ever bother to open up." Compare them to see what it was you liked or didn't like, and why.
A jacket copy is one of the main selling points of a novel.
Just to prove it, I'm gonna give you a scenario.
Picture yourself in a bookstore. The scent of hardbacks and pages riding the light breeze of the air conditioner. You're browsing in your favorite section, searching through hundreds and hundreds of titles and book-covers for that certain...*gasp*...there it is. One of the most intriguing covers ever (I'm thinking it's a striking blue eye with a reflection of a butterfly). Your fingers lightly touch the spine of this novel you must have. You pull it free from the bookshelf, yielding it like a lost holy relic.
And what's the first thing you do?
If you guessed open it up to read the summary, then you're probably right. If that short description caught your attention, you're probably holding your new find to your chest like a newborn baby. If not, then you slide the book right back into the place where it originally rested on the shelf. Left behind as you scour the remaining books for that one find.
A jacket copy is a selling tool for you, the author. In thirty seconds, you have to build your story to a level above all the other books vying for the reader's attention. So, Kate and I thought it'd prove to be a great experience for you to write one for your book.
Your job is to sell Kate, (a.k.a. the reader) your book in 250 words or less. Pretend she's browsing the shelves of your local bookstore.
Here are the rules to enter the contest.
1) You have to follow my blog. My contest, so I get to do that.
2) Post the jacket copy of your completed novel in the comment section as such:
Author: (Your name)
Title: (The title of your novel)
Jacket Copy: (The brief description of your novel written to entice the reader to buy in 250 words or less.)
3) If you have entered my other contests and even if you won, you can still enter this one, too.
4) You can enter up to two jacket copies for two different novels.
5) The contest will close Saturday, April 14th at 12:00 midnight (central). Um.. April 14th of 2012.
6) That's it. There will be no comments or anything else with this contest. I might do something fun like set up a poll for each entry for you to vote for your favorite jacket copy while we wait.
7) If you have a question, please feel free to post in the comment section.
PRIZE: A partial ten-page critique donated by Editor Extraordinaire, Kate Kaynak.
I'd like to take a moment and invite you to Goodreads to checkout PERFECTION, release date May 2013, here.